The Boston Celtics take on the Toronto Raptors in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Monday. After the Celtics zoomed to a 2-0 series lead, the Raptors responded with back-to-back victories, setting up a pivotal clash on Monday. Gordon Hayward (ankle), Vincent Poirier (personal) and Javonte Green (knee) are unavailable to play for the Celtics. Oshae Brissett (knee) and Patrick McCaw (knee) are ruled out for the Raptors.
After opening as the slight underdog, Boston is now the 1.5-point favorite at William Hill for this 6:30 p.m. ET tip in the 2020 NBA Playoffs. The over-under is set at 212, down half a point, in the latest Celtics vs. Raptors odds. Before making any Raptors vs. Celtics picks, be sure to see the NBA predictions from SportsLine’s proven computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and it’s already returned over $5,000 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks this season. It entered the week on a blistering 61-33 run on top-rated NBA spread picks, returning almost $2,500 on those picks alone. It’s also a sizzling 11-3 on top-rated picks since the NBA’s restart in July. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
Now, the model has set its sights on Celtics vs. Raptors. You can visit SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are the NBA odds from William Hill and trends for Raptors vs. Celtics:
Celtics vs. Raptors spread: Celtics -1.5Celtics vs. Raptors over-under: 212 pointsCeltics vs. Raptors money line: Celtics -120, Toronto +100BOS: The Celtics are 7-3 against the spread in the last 10 gamesTOR: The Raptors are 5-5 against the spread in the last 10 gamesWhy the Celtics can cover
The Celtics are a strong team on both ends, including the No. 2 defensive rating in the NBA Playoffs 2020 to this point. Boston is allowing only 1.03 points per possession and, after a top-four defensive performance in the regular season, that isn’t a surprise. The Celtics ranked No. 4 in the NBA in shooting-efficiency allowed and No. 6 in turnover creation during the regular season, both of which are strengths that continue in the playoffs.
Offensively, Jayson Tatum leads the way with 25.3 points and 9.4 rebounds per game, with Kemba Walker adding 22.0 points and 5.0 assists per game in the playoffs. Toronto’s defense is stellar, but the Celtics have the slight edge through four games, and Boston was the No. 4 offense in the NBA during the regular season. The Celtics are also tremendous at avoiding turnovers, giving the ball away on just 13.6 percent of possessions during the regular season, and that is a key area to prevent Toronto from producing fast-break offense.
Why the Raptors can cover
This is a series pitting two of the best defensive teams in the NBA against each other, but Toronto also has offensive strengths to rely on against Boston. Fred VanVleet is a tremendous shot creator, averaging 19.6 points and 7.3 assists per game in the postseason, and Pascal Siakam is averaging 19.0 points and 7.5 rebounds per game in his own right. From there, Kyle Lowry provides a well-rounded skill set, averaging 17.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game in the playoffs. The Raptors are third in the postseason in 3-point attempts, converting 37.2 percent of 41.0 attempts per game.
Defensively, the Raptors are one of the best teams in the NBA in forcing turnovers, creating a giveaway on 16.7 percent of possessions in the regular season, and that helps to fuel the NBA’s most prolific transition offense. Toronto is also stiffening on the defensive glass in this series, grabbing 78.9 percent of rebounds after missed shots and helping to counteract a previous strength of Boston’s offensive attack.
How to make Celtics vs. Raptors picks
SportsLine’s model is leaning over on the total, with Tatum and Serge Ibaka projected to exceed their season-long scoring averages. The model also says one side of the spread hits well over 50 percent of the time. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Raptors vs. Celtics? And which side of the spread hits in well over 50 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Celtics vs. Raptors spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that is up over $5,000 on its top-rated NBA picks this season, and find out.